Building construction is a phenomenal process! Watching plans come together, the collaboration between trades and, finally, watching the mighty assembly take place. All building construction has this in common no matter if you are designing a residential home or a sprawling college campus. But hospitals, they are a different breed of building. While most buildings serve to protect the users from exterior elements, provide shelter and creature comforts, hospitals are designed to protect users from interior elements like live viruses and bacteria that encourage airborne infections. They are designed to keep the staff comfortable when engaging in medical procedures. Even so, hospital owners would also like their buildings to be aesthetically pleasing. No matter what brings you to a hospital, you want to feel safe and comfortable as well. How do we fulfill all these requirements?
Radiant Ceiling Panels and Chilled Sails1
Engineers know when designing an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system that there are areas that may require supplemental heating or cooling. One method often used is radiant panels or chilled sails. Unlike convective heating, which warms the air in the space, radiant heating warms the walls, windows, objects, and occupants in the space. Radiant heating is inexpensive, as it can use hot water instead of electricity as a heat source. You avoid heat loss through duct work, and since radiant heating doesn’t require mixing air, you avoid spreading contaminants or allergens as you could in a convective air system.
Radiant panels are ideally suited to hospitals, providing a silent, draft-free, thermally stable environment. The panels have no moving parts, a flush finish and can be installed at the ceiling or on the wall. Chilled sails use radiant cooling and heating, combined with a convective component for increased performance. Their shape gives them more surface area than a traditional radiant panel, increasing capacity and still achieving an elevated level of comfort.
Radiant panels and chilled sails are designed for an architectural appeal, blending into the space, and are typically installed in T-bar ceiling grids or freely suspended. The picture above shows Price Industries chilled sails in an office space (left), custom-curved chilled sails in a board room (top), and mitered chilled sails (bottom).
EffectiV HVAC Architectural Diffusers2
Convective air systems use ductwork to deliver air to the space, normally terminating at the ceiling with a diffuser. Diffuser selection is often thought of as a menial, tedious task, however, a poor diffuser selection can ruin an entire system. Too few diffusers can be drafty and noisy. Too many diffusers can cause air to dump or stratify. The perfect design evenly distributes the flow of air, provides a throw and spread that induce proper mixing, and integrates into the ceiling for architectural appeal.
EffectiV HVAC offers a plethora of diffusers that help improve thermal comfort, are energy efficient, can incorporate indoor quality in its design and are aesthetically pleasing. The NEX Concave Elements Swirl Diffuser (left) is a stunning engineered diffuser with several practical options. The concave elements of the diffuser supply the air in the swirl pattern, engaging the Coanda effect. When fitted with the PERFAIR high-performance plenum mixing box, the diffuser emits a uniform airflow, despite variations in supply air temperature and velocity, while the high induction ratio causes rapid reduction of air velocity and helps to reduce stratification. Jets of various sizes are available to manage velocity variations and the diffuser comes in square or round shape, lay-in, duct or drywall mount.
The Play UV Diffuser (right) is the upper echelon of diffuser design, protecting a room from potential contamination of recycled air. This UV diffuser’s 3-in-1 solution incorporates IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) by providing a UV (Ultra Violet) light and irradiation chamber to deactivate the smallest pathogens – up to 99.9999% of SAR-CoV-1, -2, Tuberculosis, Legionella and other airborne viruses and bacteria, in a single pass. Adding filters to the air helps remove larger particulates and provides high induction mixing to improve ventilation. The round sectors can be rotated to redirect the airflow where needed, reaching parts of the room which would normally lack proper ventilation. They can also direct air toward sources of heat gain or loss, like windows or doors. Each diffuser can be manually adjusted to perform as a 1-way, 2-way, 3-way, 4-way, or a hybrid combination diffuser. Custom colors and styles offer infinite configuration possibilities.
Price UltraSuite Array3
Operating room, hybrid imaging rooms and cardiac catheterization labs call for a more specialized design. Protection of the patient and staff from airborne pathogens is critical in the design of these HVAC systems. We also need to ensure that the surgical team has proper lighting and access to all required procedural equipment.
Enter the Price UltraSuite Array (USA)! The USA is a customizable, modular ceiling system supplied with a common plenum and lighting solution specifically for operating rooms. Each diffuser is equipped with a perforated polymer face and aperture plate for even distribution of airflow and lighting. Diffusers can be outfitted with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter and one or two row dimmable LED (Light-emitting diode) lighting strips in various lighting temperatures. Lighting at the surgical table is optimized with the USA positioned directly above the patient, reducing shadows within the surgical zone. All components of the USA are accessible from the room side for ease of maintenance. The USA can be seamlessly integrated with Unistrut channels or hung from Price’s own Hospital Grade Welded Ceiling. The low-profile design diffusers are flush-mount, and the common plenum reduces ceiling congestion opening valuable ceiling space while conserving floor space for medical equipment.
Below is a picture of Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue, Washington. Even with ceiling mounted medical equipment, lighting and airflow above the surgical table is unobstructed, presenting a clean, streamlined finish.
Greenheck offers the most complete line of AMCA (Air Movement and Control Association) certified and highly configurable louver products in the industry. Their louvers come in numerous standard and customizable configurations. Various materials are available, from extruded aluminum to galvanized steel, with any accessory you can think of. From standard stationary louvers with fixed blades, to operable louvers with adjustable blades and combination louver dampers, Greenheck has it all!
Wind driven rain (models EHH & EVH), tornado and hurricane louvers are available with Miami-Dade County qualifications and International Building Code (IBC) approval. These heavy-duty louvers go through rigorous testing to assure that they can “weather” any storm.
Greenheck also manufactures brick vents (models BVE & BVF), equipment screens (model EES), sight proof louvers (model SED), acoustical louvers (models AFA, AFJ, & AFS), elevator vents and louvered penthouses (model PEV). Choose a color from their wide selection or match to a color already in your palette.
Click this link for more information on Greenheck Louvers.
Whatever the requirements may be for your hospital project, or any other project, know that Brucker is on hand to help you walk the lines of aesthetic form and mechanical function. For more information on these products, please contact your local Brucker Sales Representative.
- Radiant panels and chilled sails – price industries. Price Industries. (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2022, from https://www.priceindustries.com/content/uploads/assets/literature/brochures/radiant-panels–chilled-sails-engineering-brochure.pdf
- UV diffusers to stop the spread of covid-19 in commercial ventilation. UV Diffusers. (2022, May 30). Retrieved July 29, 2022, from https://uvdiffusers.com/; and
Architectural diffusers. EffectiV HVAC. (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2022, from https://effectiv-hvac.com/architectural-ceiling-diffusers/
- Price Industries – the science of comfort. (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2022, from https://www.priceindustries.com/content/uploads/assets/literature/brochures/usa-ultrasuite-brochure.pdf
- From Greenheck website. Louvers. Retrieved July 29, 2022, from https://www.greenheck.com/products/air-control/louvers